Two renegade Catholic bishops on Tuesday at a remote monastery in Nove Friburgo, Brazil, expressed their willingness to consecrate a new generation of bishops in apparent challenge to Rome. French Bishop Jean-Michel Faure, said the new group “rejected Pope Francis and his new religion” and would not engage in a dialogue with Rome until the Vatican reversed some of its actions.
Richard Williamson and Faure, who were both excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church when the former made the latter a bishop without Vatican approval. Faure said the fact they planned to consecrate bishops was important because it means their schism can continue as a rebel form of Catholicism.
“We follow the Popes of the past not the current one. It is likely that in maybe one or two years we will have more consecration.
“There were already two candidates to be promoted to bishop’s rank,’’ he said. Faure said the group was first addressed as Roman Catholic now St Pius X, and later the Resistance. He said the St of St Pius X (SSPX) was a larger ultra-traditionalist group that was excommunicated in 1988 when its founder consecrated four new bishops, including Williamson, despite warnings from the Vatican. Faure said they rejected the modernising reforms of the 1962-65 “Second Vatican Council’’ and stuck with Catholicism’s old Latin Mass after the Church switched to simpler liturgy in local languages.
He said the resistance group would not engage in dialogue with Rome. “We resist capitulation, we resist conciliation of St Pius X with Rome,” he said. Faure said he was not sure what it would take for Rome to return to its old traditions but conflict could be a catalyst. “If there is another World War maybe the Church will go back to the way it was before,” he said.
A report said former Pope Benedict readmitted the four SSPX bishops to the Catholic fold in 2009, but the SSPX soon expelled Williamson because of an uproar over his Holocaust denial. It said in contrast to Benedict, Pope Francis pays little attention to the SSPX ultra-traditionalists, They claim to have a million followers around the world and a growing number of new priests at a time that Rome faces priest shortages.
The report stated that under Catholic law, Williamson and Faure are excommunicated from the Church but remain validly consecrated bishops.It explained that the duo could ordain priests into their schismatic group and claim to be Catholic, albeit without Vatican approval. It added that by contrast, women supposedly made priests by dissident Catholic bishops are not validly ordained because Catholic law reserves the priesthood only for men.